Art need not always be mysterious with hidden meanings; sometimes what you see is what you get. The works of artist Tridib Bera, on display at an exhibition titled Body Language are a case in point.
Comprising largely animal shapes and forms, almost all the works in this exhibition are unnamed. “I used to title my work if I thought it was necessary,” says Tridib. “However, since all the works in this series are pretty straightforward, they have been left as is.”
Titling his work would be quite inane as Tridib’s creations are as undemanding on the intellect as a schoolyard rhyme. Growing up in a small hamlet in the Chandraokna district of West Bengal, Tridib was surrounded by animals all his life. “I’ve always loved animals, but more than their outward physique I was fascinated by how their bodies functioned,” says the artist talking about his sketch of a dog.
Produced on paper using litho chalk, the image is not only a simple depiction of man’s best friend, but also seems to offer an in-sight into the creature. The same holds true for Tridib’s image of a ram; despite its thick outer fleece, viewers get an eyeful of what lies beneath, at least according to the artist.
Sometimes closely packed geometrical shapes add ‘muscle’ to his animals, at other times , the artist makes do with thick, fluid brushstrokes.
Tridib, who uses mixed media such as pastels and crayons for his sketches, also works with stainless steel to craft sculptures. “Though I am from West Bengal, I have been living in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, for the past 15 years and since steel in all its forms can be found in abundance there, it became my medium of choice,” says the alumnus of Shantiniketan.
Much like his drawings, Tridib’s sculptures do not leave much to the imagination, sporting a see-through, 3D mien. Yet, as obvious as his work might seem, certain missing features on the figures only add to the appeal of his work. For instance, his reproduction of a lion is faceless, but the mane is a dead giveaway.
Body Language by Tridib Bera will be on display at Gallery Time and Space from July 21 to July 31.